BREAKING: Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan Because Of You!

You never cease to amaze me Food Babe Army! The power you have to change the world is incredible. I just received confirmation that Whitewave Foods, who owns Horizon and Silk, will be removing all carrageenan from their products in 2015.  

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Earlier today, I received an anonymous email that stated:

“To whom it may concern, Through friends I have made in the industry an announcement from Whitewave was shared with me regarding their removal of Carrageenan from their products. Due to the overwhelming pressure from consumers and encouragement from your website foodbabe.com, Whitewave has announced that they will be removing Carrageenan. Keep up the good work. Attached you will find the announcement letter from Whitewave regarding this”.

Along with this attached document from Whitewave Foods:

We are removing carrageenan from our Horizon and Silk products!

  • Our consumers have expressed a desire for products without it and we are listening!
  • Carrageenan will be removed from Horizon flavored milk in Q1 2015, and from all other Horizon items by Q2 2015 (eggnog, Tuberz, heavy whipping cream, regular and lowfat cottage cheese and lowfat sour cream).
  • It will be removed from our top 5 Silk ESL Soy and Coconut beverages by Q2 2015 and remaining Silk Aseptic and other ESL products by end of 2016.
  • What is carrageenan?
    • A purified extract of red seaweed that is widely used in food and beverage products as a natural thickener and stabilizer.  Allowed for use in organic products since 1995
    • National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Handling Committee voted unanimously in February 2012 to recommend it for relisting
    • Food grade carrageenan is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by FDA, and is permitted for use by federal and international food safety agencies including FDA, and Health Canada

It was just reported by the Associated Press via ABC News that they decided to remove it “because customer feedback has been so strong“. Yes, it is because of all of YOU and your resounding voices, they have decided to make this positive change. This is in direct response to your continued activism in holding companies accountable for the ingredients they put in their products. 

Carrageenan Should Be Removed From All Food – Here’s Why:

I first wrote about this controversial additive back in May of 2012 when a cousin of mine asked me to investigate this ingredient. I highlighted research from food industry watchdog group, The Cornucopia Institute, who completed an in-depth analysis regarding the safety of this ingredient and subsequently petitioned the FDA to remove the additive from the “Generally Regarded As Safe” or GRAS determination and from organic foods all together.

In their report, they explained why even food-grade carrageenan is dangerous, yet how many food companies have continued to unscrupulously add it to their products. According to Cornucopia, animal studies show that “food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors”. It can also cause cancer, because food grade “undegraded” carrageenan is contaminated with “degraded” carrageenan (the kind that’s not considered “food grade”). The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States have both determined that degraded carrageenan is a carcinogen. So, it clearly should not be in our food – but it still is.

As reported this week in the Washington Post, Joanne Tobacman, a physician and professor, “asked the FDA in 2008 to examine the additives safety, submitting five of her own studies concluding that carrageenan can cause inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. The studies were financed with grants from the federal government. The FDA denied her petition, citing several other industry-funded studies that contradicted her findings“.

Since the FDA won’t do anything to get carrageenan removed from our food, it is up to us to make this happen. 

Other Companies Are Guilty, But This Can Be Changed.

I’m so thrilled that Whitewave made this announcement, because this will likely lead to other companies following suit. Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute has been working on this issue for years, and says that Whitewave’s decision reflects the rise of “people power” – which is so true. We do have the power to enact big changes in the food industry and this is proof of that.

Let’s help to be part of this sweeping change to remove carrageenan from our food supply by avoiding all products with carrageenan and ask companies who are still using it to drop it.

In this shopping guide, created by The Cornucopia Institute, you’ll find a list of all companies guilty of using this ingredient. If one of your favorite products is listed, please do your part and contact that company and ask them to remove it. If you know of other companies that are still using carrageenan, list them in the comments below.

FDA Asleep At The Wheel!

Whitewave’s announcement proves targeting companies works much faster than targeting the FDA. Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for food, even admitted this week that “We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals” and “we do not know the volume of particular chemicals that are going into the food supply.” The FDA is completely asleep at the wheel. It’s up to us to hold these companies accountable and that’s exactly what we are doing.

You are so awesome. Congratulations Food Babe Army! We are changing the food system once again. 

Sending you lots of love and courage to keep moving forward,  

Vani 

 

P.S. If you are new to Food Babe and want to change the food system, come on over and sign up here, it’s completely free!

 
 
 
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308 Responses to “BREAKING: Major Company Removing Controversial Ingredient Carrageenan Because Of You!”

  1. Jen

    Even now still do not trust this company enough to ingest their products. They have done too many dishonest toxic things over the years and support monsanto.

    Reply
  2. Carol Rittner

    I live in Australia, and dont know of a website like this one. We need one here who can contact different companies for us, or take up petitions against companies who still use toxic ingredients. You can start petitions on care2.com.au, but I dont know how to go about it, its too big for me to organise.

    Reply
  3. MaryAlice

    I purchased Whole Food’s 365 brand of almond milk over the weekend and carrageenan is not in the ingredient list. Does it ever go by another name?

    Reply
  4. David

    Some years ago I phoned LOBLAWS corporate office complaining about the removal of Organic Vegetable Protein, SOY, PEA,HEMP,BROWN RICE from their shelves. They said there was nothing they could do. I thanked them and asked for a web address where I could express the same sentiments at the same level. I then wrote referencing my conversation with the badge number and pledged I would never shop in their store and thaat I would endeavour to influence, family , friends, professional colleagues and whoever I might reach via the numerous sites on which I comment to follow suit. 7 weeks later I received a note advising LOBLAWS was proud to announce the launch of a new line. The product was back. They were childish enough to want to make it sound as if it was of their own invention. I have no problem with that. For years I wrote social impact reports for a superior who had surpassed his level of incompetence. He signed and took credit. All that mattered was that the right things happened. Sitting on ones hands instead of using them for change achieves status quo.

    Reply
  5. Hope

    I started looking for carrageenan in products that I had in my pantry and fridge was surprised to find it in Tillamook brand ice cream and Shamrock brand half and half.

    Reply
  6. jean carley

    Hi food babe- now let’s see if we can talk Tom’s company into jumping on the CARRAGENNAN ditching band wagon! I am a dental hygienist and love their toothpastes. I have emailed them twice now trying to get them to take the carcinogenic ingredient out of their products. They assure me that it is safe…… let’s see what the food babe army thinks! Thanks Jean Carley

    Reply
  7. Mari Miller

    I have cut up my Starbucks Gold Card! No longer a customer.. I will purchase my coffee at Lost Bean in Tustin CA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. Brienne

    I really hope we can get the So Delicious brand to do the same!

    Reply
  9. Sol

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t thank you enough for what you do for all of us consumers!

    I’ve been sending e-mails to companies about carageenan and have not even gotten a response.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :)

    Reply
  10. mel

    Well this is good news that carageenan will be removed the products. But I’m sure it will only be replaced with some other type of “gums”, which is better but not ideal. Why are these thickening/emulsyfiers needed anyway? I don’t mind giving my aseptic milk a quick shake before I use it.

    Reply
  11. Charlsa Golden

    I just found this in my buttermilk,It is in the Aldi store brand. I also found it in the Great Value, WalMart brand, vanilla unsweetned almond milk. That was two random things out of my fridge, oh my.
    I will be reading labels now that I know about this.

    Charlsa Golden

    Reply
  12. Lorena

    Food Babe, would you be so kind to also publicize that SO Delicious ice ream unfortunately has this ingredient. We thought we were eating something healthy, and we are not. I will call the company and let them know, but would appreciate if you could help get the word out. I will no longer buy this brand. What is your favorite brand? Thank you so much for all the work you do!

    Reply
  13. Natalie

    How about Lactaid brand milks they have carrageenan in them as well. I have young nieces and nephews that have to drink Lactaid for their lactose intolerance and this does not seem right? If this is not healthy, than what can kids (1 and 3) drink?

    Reply
    • Carol (to Natalie)

      The Lactaid reduced fat milk 100% lactose free does not have it in it.

      Reply
    • Monica (to Natalie)

      Almond, & coconut milk!!! Make sure it’s non GmO and organic. Soooo much healthier than cow milk anyway!

      Reply
  14. jeanette

    Wow so Awesome!! Let’s put pressure on more companies so that we can feel good about what we put in our bodies!! Thanks food babe for all your hard work!

    Reply
  15. Christine

    Why does Horizon call themselves Organic?

    Reply
  16. Katy

    What about removing it from the Silk line of Almond Milk? I didn’t see that in their list….

    Reply
  17. amparo de jesús

    totally agree with this blog. I support it 100%. happens in my country just as much. is invading us junk food and I have some notes on food and “soda” that ostensibly harm our body and found in supermarkets. Interested?

    Reply
  18. ShockedB

    Safeway’s Open Nature Fruit and Veggie Juice Bars (popcicles) list carrageenan as an ingredient right on the front of their packaging, along side claims ‘natural’ and ‘no artificial flavors, colors’.

    Reply
  19. Nina Johnson

    Could we please launch a campaign to have Costco remove carageenan from their Kirkland organic products. I keep writing, but I need help! ! ! ! My children and grandchildren drink these products. Help

    Thank you for making our lives better. Hugs

    Reply
  20. Jacquie (to Holo)

    Really? You are saying it is not harmful? Can you refer me to a credible scientific/ medical source with info discussing this topic? I appreciate the information and I like to listen to both sides of the argument! Thank you!

    Reply
  21. Sara (to Annie Bebe)

    Read it again. The food safe type is contaminated with the unsafe type, thus making it unsafe.

    Reply

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